"I truly believe we're only as sick as our secrets," Valerie tells Rachael, "and I just don't want to be sick anymore. I don't want to hold stuff in. It's so much easier to not be secretive. When we let it out, when we can be vulnerable—like Brene Brown says—there is strength and there is power in radical vulnerability. I have noticed the more vulnerable I've gotten—the more real, the more honest—the more at peace I feel. I'm not trying to pretend to be this perfect human being that I've never been—and that's okay. Nobody's perfect. But as long as we're trying and we're learning and we're creating and we're being kind to ourselves and to others and being respectful, that's all we can really ask for."
Because we can't let Valerie visit without asking her to whip something up in the kitchen, she made a simple upside-down cake from her memoir. Get her Upside-Down Citrus Cake recipe here.